Regional Foundation Announces $2 Million in Grant Awards

Regional Foundation awards Neighborhood Planning Grants in NJ, DE, and PA, and continues to support revitalization work in historically underinvested communities.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 20, 2023

Philadelphia, PA – Today the Regional Foundation announced $2,000,000 in Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grants to 11 organizations throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. 

After several years, the foundation returned to investing in neighborhood revitalization that centers a resident-led planning process. Structured between 12 and 18 months in length, Neighborhood Planning Grants support the creation of neighborhood plans that address root causes of inequality and community development priorities including but not limited to affordable housing, workforce development, human services, commercial corridor initiatives, environmental justice, transportation, and education.

The Neighborhood Implementation Grants support comprehensive community development plans that target specific neighborhoods, are resident-driven, and equity-focused. The multi-year funding is designed to assist the foundation’s grantee partners to start or sustain momentum in their comprehensive neighborhood revitalization initiatives.

“The pressing needs of our community continue to exist and weigh down those who need it most from changing their lives from one of despair to one of hope. We are excited that the investments we are announcing today are a small part of creating the change needed to ensure individuals, families, and whole communities have the resiliency to continue along a path of success,” stated Kevin Dow, Executive Director of the foundation.

The Neighborhood Planning Grant Partners are:

ACHIEVEability will receive $125,000 over 18 months to support a resident-driven neighborhood planning process for the Haddington and Cobbs Creek neighborhoods of West Philadelphia. ACHIEVEability’s planning process will pull together neighborhood groups, faith-based institutions, residents, and other local leaders to explore priorities and strategies for the area, particularly as they related to enhancements for the 60th Street corridor, affordable housing, and neighborhood safety.

Chester Community Improvement Project (CCIP) will focus its neighborhood planning process on the Grace Manor neighborhood of Chester, PA. CCIP will receive $125,000 over 18 months to bring together their many partners and residents around a holistic conversation that will explore needs related to education and programs for youth, street and sidewalk improvements, economic growth, public transportation, and training resident leaders in civic engagement. CCIP will also receive $15,000 in general operating support.

Gateway CAP will receive $125,000 over 18 months to fund a neighborhood planning process for the town of Paulsboro, NJ. Gateway CAP will create a blueprint that will address police and community relations, prevention, and reduction of violent crime, increased affordable housing options, economic and workforce development, social/human services, recreational facilities, transportation, and education. Resident-driven commitment to the planning process will help to create a plan that engages residents and encourages their involvement alongside community leaders.

GoggleWorks will receive $125,000 over 18 months to serve as the convening organization for a neighborhood planning process in Reading PA’s sixth ward. The planning process will address preserving community assets and cultural diversity and sense of belonging and identity through leveraging the impact of arts and culture programming.  GoggleWorks, with their resident steering committee and local partners will explore priorities and strategies related to food and housing insecurity, safety, workforce opportunities, and supports for immigrant communities.

Hunting Park Green (HPG), in Philadelphia, PA will receive $125,000 over 18 months to coordinate a youth-driven neighborhood planning process in the Hunting Park neighborhood of the city. HPG will organize its neighbors through an intergenerational model and will explore themes for the neighborhood related to workforce development, environmental justice, and supporting small businesses, and use / adaptation of open spaces. HPG will also receive $20,000 in general operating support.

La Esperanza, an organization focused on supporting the immigrant communities in Seaford, Georgetown and Laurel, DE, will receive $75,000 over 12 months for a resident-led neighborhood planning process. La Esperanza’s process will include a deep focus on building leadership among the Haitian Creole and Spanish-speaking communities to drive more community decision-making. The process will explore the needs of the region as they relate to basic needs, educational opportunities, housing, and connecting those resources in a cohesive way.

Mount Vernon Manor CDC (MVMCDC) will receive $125,000 over 15 months for a neighborhood planning process to support community development in Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood. MVMCDC is focused on resident self-determination activities and will coordinate a planning process that builds on the strength of the intergenerational community, as they tackle questions related to affordable housing and displacement prevention, place keeping, and connecting and enhancing resources for residents to live their best lives.

North 5th Revitalization Project will receive $125,000 over 18 months to coordinate a neighborhood planning process for the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia. With two major corridors in the neighborhood, and many languages spoken, North 5th envisions a planning process that brings together local partners, residents, and business owners to envision priorities for the years to come, and to strategize together about how best to build on existing assets in the community, while exploring emergent needs. Building on the past 10 years of effective corridor work and partnership development, North 5th, alongside its neighbors, will create Olney’s first plan.

Strawberry Mansion CDC (SMCDC), located in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of Philadelphia, will receive $125,000 over 18 months to lead a neighborhood planning process centered on placement for cultural events, affordable housing, and historic preservation. The process seeks to also answer questions related to needs for strengthening the commercial corridor in the neighborhood, untangling land ownership issues, and how to best serve the needs of its working-class residents. SMCDC will also receive $15,000 in general operating support.

The Neighborhood Implementation Grantee Partners are:

HANDS, Inc. will receive $375,000 to build on the last two years of implementation work in Orange, NJ. Following the Foundation’s $1,000,000 of funding over the past seven years, HANDS will continue to support is work towards a better economy for all, increased health and wellness and quality of life for residents, safe and affordable housing, and community building among residents. Through financial literacy workshops, home repairs program and housing advocacy work, and supporting businesses on their corridor through mini-grants and technical assistance, HANDS will continue to strengthen and build a more vibrant, equitable Orange.

2nd Century Alliance (via Chester County Economic Development Foundation) will receive $500,000 to build on the last five years of neighborhood plan implementation in Coatesville, PA. 2nd Century Alliance’s strategies include fostering resident power through deep engagement, enhanced workforce development programming, mitigation of criminal activities, youth program supports, and increased affordable housing opportunities. Through these points of focus, 2nd Century and its residents look to reduce displacement of long-time residents, to build a strong youth workforce, increase safety and neighborhood connectedness, and to build a vibrant business community.